American Norwegian derivational morphology in contact


  • David Natvig University of Stavanger
  • Yvonne van Baal Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)



American Norwegian, morphology, derivation, language contact, heritage languages


Heritage languages (HLs) reliably exhibit morphological patterns prone to change and restructuring. Yet, American Norwegian appears to be remarkably stable in terms of structure, although with some surface variability. Contact patterns have nevertheless long been observed, where original English loanwords receive Norwegian inflectional morphology. Although there is robust evidence for inflectional patterns undergoing both variation and language mixing, there is less work on the outcomes of derivational processes in language contact. We investigate the impact of HL-bilingualism on American Norwegian derivational patterns. Our analysis of corpus data demonstrates a general lack of language mixing in derivations, which supports a long-standing observation in contact linguistics that this material is borrowed as whole lexical items rather than as individual morphemes. This work contributes to our understanding of the relationship between grammatical representations and contact-induced change, further demonstrating the insights into the architecture of bilingual morphosyntax that (moribund) heritage languages provide.




How to Cite

Natvig, David, and Yvonne van Baal. 2022. “American Norwegian Derivational Morphology in Contact”. Bergen Language and Linguistics Studies 12 (2):52-62.